This is a super-interesting story from The Atlantic Monthly (driven by anecdotes) that raises a lot of interesting questions about how states administer federal childcare money, including how we set up the eligibility requirements in a world of scarce financial resources. (This is the world I live in.)
If you think about what we do as “childcare” you are interested in ensuring that only parents who are working in low-wage jobs get subsidized care. If you think about it as “education” you start thinking about ensuring that high-risk kids have access to free, high-quality early learning. I prefer the latter approach.
Washington has a mix of these two approaches. I had dinner at an event for Bellevue College with a BC student that grew up dealing with foster care and other craziness. She has a young child as a single mother and is working her way through the BC nursing program. Fortunately Bellevue College has a childcare program partly funded by student activity fees, because our program requires that she be in a “vocational” program that is shorter than one year instead of the nursing program that will put her firmly on the road to the middle class.
We should fix this.